Dear Rotary Club of Papakura,
It's been already far too long since I left beautiful New Zealand and the best Rotary club in the entire world. It's been a journey on its own to get back to everyday life around here.
 
First, I came back to luckily spent as much time with my grandfather as I could. During this time, we as a family came closer together than ever. We were connecting every day and supporting my grandparents and mother as much as we were able. Then after a week, the day was there my grandfather was put asleep so he wouldn't consciously withness the last moments. It was a sad and strange day my grandfather was waiting anxiously to the moment because he had no more energy.
We were all there to be there and support him, my grandmother and my mother. Then we got the news during the night, I was out with a friend to have a few drinks then I got the phone call, and I knew in a second what the news was. My grandfather passed away peacefully and next to my grandmother.
After this everything happened very quickly, the day of condolences and the funeral and this was a good thing for everybody.
Next to this entire nasty situation, I was also able to find a job very soon. It was the job that my sister organised at the restaurant she worked at. It started with my interview I said I wasn't keen on doing serving food and drinks because I wasn't confident enough to do that. So I began to work on the beach, doing chores and selling the beach chairs and the rest of the equipment on the warm days.
But after one week I was already bored with doing only beach work, so I told my bosses that I wanted to do more so they said to me if you can prove you can do something else you can do it. So one day (with some help of my sister, again) I was serving drinks and food, and my bosses were delighted so that was another thing I could do. Now I've been working here for about two months, and I'm enjoying myself so much. Now I'm known as the kid that can do everything, so this keeps my job also very interesting I get to keep doing something different every day, so it's always a surprise what's the day going to hold for me.
I truly believe my time in New Zealand has helped me so much in my time back home. Especially the skills I learned because of each and every one of you. When I started working here, I was entirely focused on getting to know everybody's name and tried to fit in with everybody. Now I feel like being part of the work team. You gave me the confidence to open up to everybody, and I know what you are going to say "you did it yourself". And that's true, but I wouldn't be able to do it without all the life lessons you taught me.
 
I've started University, and I must say I genuinely enjoy it being back at school again. It's been a journey moving up and down from school and back, meeting new people from the Netherlands but also other countries. I now see in myself how confident I've become in meeting new people and exposing myself to new situations. So will try and keep my mind more focused on school than parties.
 
The only problem that I am still facing to this day is to find my place back home. I noticed that in this old environment, I find it truly difficult to clear my mind. My body is not in agreement anymore, my head enjoys working too much, my body says slow down and take your rest, and my heart says what are you doing back in the Netherlands. This breaks my heart the most then I cannot make myself time to send you guys something, and for this, I'm genuinely sorry. Know this, I might not contact you, but you will never leave my heart.
 
Tijn